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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Plan B over-the-counter!

((I'm stealing alot of this text from my co-organizer Brooke's blog, but she wont mind! And besides, I couldn't have written it better myself!))

Wow, what a huge day.

This morning, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved emergency contraceptive pill, Plan B, for sale over-the-counter to women 18 and older. Emergency Contraception (or EC) is a special dose of ordinary birth control pills that can prevent unintended pregnancies if taken up to five days after unprotected intercourse, contraceptive failure, or sexual assault. It does not cause an abortion and has no effect if a woman is already pregnant.

EC is most effective the sooner it is taken, but previously EC required a doctor's visit and physician prescription, making it difficult for many women to get a prescription in time for it to be effective. So, women nationwide launched a campaign to get EC made available without a prescription.

My job at Champaign County Health Care Consumers is the lead organizer for the Campaign for Access to Emergency Contraception.

We have held rallies, hosted community forums, conducted pharmacy surveys, went on lobby visits to our legislators, got physicians to write advance prescriptions for EC and later to give away free EC on the spot, sent Valentines to the FDA, held house parties, spoke in classes, and otherwise worked our butts off to promote easier EC access. And it paid off! EC is now available for sale over-the-counter. It is lamentable, and a damn shame, that the FDA is too short-sighted to also approve the pill for non-prescription use by women 17 and younger as well, particularly after highly reputable studies show that young women are no less capable of taking the medication without a doctor's supervision, nor are they any more likely to engage in sexually risky behavior when they had ready access to EC. But, today's decision is still a huge advance for women!

Thank you Brooke and Claudia, for being my inspiration and all the women out there who made this victory possible.

It's great to feel part of something.


brooke said...

YAY for over-the-counter EC!! And congrats, Allie! You are an amazing organizer and have carried this EC work, and moved it forward, in incredible ways. I'll be looking forward to seeing you and toasting to our victory soon!

Go Team Ovary!!

TC said...

Woo hoo! Allie, I was SUPER excited to see the article yesterday and was thinking about blogging about it myself, but now I think I'll just direct people to your blog. :) Way to go girl!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Way to go Allie!!!